In a recent TrainingPros’Learning Views webinar, Teresa Davenport of Davenport Design & Development took a close look at leveraging social media as an organizational learning tool in the workplace. The webinar provided a perfect opportunity to revive a term known as “social learning” - a term originally coined in 1969 and much in need of an update! After surveying a number of social media applications and looking at ways organizations are currently using social media for learning, the webinar participants generated a new definition: Social learning is the process of learning through social interaction between peers.
Organizations are incorporating social learning into their culture at surprisingly high rates: over 50% of companies are using social learning practices today, and 2/3 plan to implement or increase social learning initiatives in the future. One survey indicates that 70 – 90% of workplace learning happens informally (see http://go.bloomfire.com/social_learning_future_of_work). This leads us as learning and development professionals to ask two key questions: How can I help implement social learning into my learning designs? and How do I remain relevant as a learning architect in a workplace that is gravitating to social learning?